Five Finger Death Punch have officially confirmed that guitarist Jason Hook parted ways with the band back in February and have announced their new guitar player.

In late 2019, Hook underwent gallbladder surgery, which forced Five Finger Death Punch to postpone three tour dates. When the band hit the road again in Europe at the start of the year, the guitarist had to leave the tour early because he needed "additional time for his recovery," per an official statement from the band.

Replacing him is British guitarist Andy James (ex-Fields of the Nephilim), who has been filling in for Hook since 2019. James appears on "Broken World," one of the five previously unreleased tracks that will appear on the band's upcoming greatest hits album Decade of Destruction, Volume 2.

"Jason is an incredible guitar player, so we had to find someone on the absolute top of their game. Someone like Andy James who was already a well-known virtuoso and had the chops to step into Jason’s shoes," guitarist guitarist Zoltan Bathory says of the newest member. "Andy completed our European Tour with us back in February so he was already tried by fire. We instantly clicked both musically and personally so he was the obvious choice. We even have the same birthday… Some things are just meant to be.”

Hook, who posted yesterday addressing the rumors before deleting his statement, thanked Five Finger Death Punch fans for their support.

"I have had the pleasure of meeting so many of you in person. Thank you for the endless stories of how our music has touched your heart in some way! But the best part of being on tour the last 12 years, by far, has been playing my guitar and seeing the joy on your faces every night," Hook said in a statement about his departure. "I will miss that more than anything. As far the reason I’m leaving…well, there really isn’t just one. I’ve been in bands my entire life and I feel like I’ve done all the good that I can here. It’s time to pass the baton and move on to new challenges."

Frontman Ivan Moody also sent his best to Hook

“I just congratulated Jason on his recent wedding, and I hope he finds peace and happiness," he said. "As for us, I’m really excited to keep working with Andy and I just can’t wait for this Covid madness to be over so we can go back out on the road.”

The follow-up to Five Finger Death Punch's wildly popular A Decade of Destruction comp that was released in 2017, will be out Oct. 9 and will feature songs from the group's first seven albums, as well as more aforementioned previously unreleased goodies. For more info, head here.

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